THE candidates are in and the race is on to win the hearts and minds of voters in the Tweed Shire Council elections on September 8.
Already there has been a flurry of campaigning with a visit from a former prime minister endorsing candidates and a party heavyweight arriving in town to launch a campaign.
Labor and The Greens have endorsed candidates and Phil Youngblutt has publicly aligned himself with the Nationals in a leaflet campaign. Kaye Sharples has put her hand up in protest at the growing interest in local elections from political parties.
But one of the biggest surprises so far has been the backflip from Councillor Kevin Skinner on his decision to leave the council and to appear as the fourth candidate on Jayne Henry's ticket.
Cr Skinner said his decision was taken only days before nominations closed.
He said he reluctantly agreed.
Cr Skinner said Ms Henry had agreed to be his Number Two before he decided not to run and he wanted to repay her support.
"It's absolutely unheard of and practically and technically speaking almost impossible to be elected when you're the fourth name on the ticket," Cr Skinner said.
"I'm purely doing it to help out."
As expected, Mayor Barry Longland and former mayor Warren Polglase have nominated, as have The Greens led by sitting councillor Katie Milne and Country Labor headed by Michael Armstrong.
Councillor Dot Holdom is also recontesting.